Durbin, Colleagues Unveil Bipartisan Resolution Reaffirming Congressional Support For Cuba's Pro-Democracy Movement

The bicameral resolution calls for the Cuban regime to halt its criminal repression against the peaceful protesters & for regional powers to help foster political freedom on the island

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), and U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) in unveiling a bicameral, bipartisan resolution condemning the Cuban government’s violent response to the thousands of Cuban citizens who have taken to the streets to peacefully call for respect for basic human rights and the end of the dictatorship in Cuba.

Following days of massive protests in cities and towns across Cuba, the resolutions come as independent Cuban civil society groups report hundreds of peaceful protesters have been arrested, detained, or are missing, while the regime has continued to rely on widespread internet shutdowns and illegal searches of the homes of activists in an effort to quash the burgeoning pro-democracy movement.

“We are seeing decades of deep Cuban frustration over inept, corrupt, and cruel governance boiling over. While I have long argued for a change in the failed U.S. policy toward Cuba, the Cuban people know the real source of their island's lost potential rests squarely with the ruling dictatorship,” said Durbin. “On this 9th anniversary of Cuban democracy activist Oswaldo Payá’s suspicious death, I stand with the Cuban people in their peaceful demand for a brighter future.” 

The bicameral resolutions were also cosponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in addition to U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Lois Frankel (D-FL-21), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), Al Lawson (D-FL-05), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11), Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), Chris Smith (R-NJ-04), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24).

Earlier this month, Durbin urged the new Executive Secretary of the InterAmerican Commission for Human Rights, Tania Reneaum Panszi, to conclude the organization’s investigation into the troubling death of Cuban democracy activist Oswaldo Payá. 

A copy of the final resolution is available here.